Intimacy With God
All of us have friends or people we admire and want to be closer with. Spending time with them is an enjoyment especially when it comes at their invitation. We willingly do whatever it takes to adjust our calendar to accept their request.
But what about God? In James 4:8 lies the greatest invitation of all: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” The Creator of the universe requests your presence. Not only that, He desires to be intimately close. He wants us to remove all obstacles that may stand between Him and us so that He may come close to us.
Sometimes, we may have overly emphasized the liberation from sin and death and neglected to focus on the intimate fellowship awaiting all who have been made new in Christ. Notice what God said to Pharaoh when the Israelites were under captivity:
And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear!
God did not tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go so that they could inherit the Promised Land. Liberty was not God’s final intent for the deliverance. It was only but a means to an end. God wanted Moses to bring them first to Mount Sinai. He wanted them to meet Him, to worship Him first. God wanted to introduce Himself as the Promiser before taking them to the Promised Land.
Knowing God in a deeper and more intimate level often precedes the receipt of a promise. God is jealous and passionate about His relationship with us (Exodus 34:14). He does not want His gifts to take our attention off Him. He wants us to recognize Him as the Giver and to delight in Him, knowing that what we have is from Him that we may not boast about it.
Unfortunately we may have at times preached more of what Jesus will do for us rather than who He really is to us. Many Christians today may be serving God primarily for benefits rather than a joyful response to who He is.
4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
Clearly, God’s main purpose in delivering Israel was so they could know and love Him. He desired to make Himself known to them. God longs for intimacy with His people and wants a special relationship with them. He often seeks our attention in various ways with the desire to be known, loved and recognized by us.
Let us pray.
Dear Lord, Your goodness and gifts in our lives are meant to draw us closer to You. Forgive me if I have sought You for anything other than You alone. Renew and restore me so that my service to You will remain purely and truly a joyful response to who You are. Help me to remember that there is a place of worship that You want to bring me to before every promised land. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.